The Stormers ended 2023 with a tightly fought 16-15 win over the Sharks on Saturday evening at the DHL Stadium in Cape Town.
The victory marks two consecutive years, 2022 and 2023, of victories over South African opposition at the home ground in the United Rugby Championship. Over the last two years, only Munster have come away from DHL Stadium with a positive result.
“We started the project a couple of years ago to get Cape Town smiling, to get people in the gates,” head coach John Dobson said after the tightly contested match against the Sharks on Saturday, 30 December.
“As much as we didn’t win the game by much, just to realise the bigger picture, what the crowd looks like, and who that crowd represents and the sacrifices they made to be here. It’s incredible for us.
“That’s our big assignment. That’s the reason these guys don’t disappear in games.”
Springbok flyhalf Manie Libbok contributed 11 of his side’s 16 points – off the kicking tee – to the Stormers’ victory.
Lock Adré Smith scored the homeside’s only try of the match in the first half.
The Sharks scored two well-worked tries of their own with winger Werner Kok and lock Corne Rahl – who was a late replacement for Springbok Eben Etzebeth – dotting down for the Durban side.
The Sharks held the lead briefly in the second half, but with a Libbok penalty and crowd in excess of 40,000 in synchronised roars, the home side rumbled home.
“We’re very fortunate,” Stormers captain Deon Fourie said abou
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